By: Danny Lipford
When they retired several years ago, Ron and Delores Crim downsized to a smaller home, on a big piece of property. Delores is an avid gardener so her husband and son, Mike, built her a shed to make her hobby more enjoyable.
But, the shed was just an empty box that quickly filled up with stuff – some needed for gardening and some not. By starting over we were able to re-design it for just the purpose it was intended.
A new ramp and porch gives Delores better access to the inside, which is well organized with all the things she needs for gardening, including the custom potting bench that Chelsea repurposed from an old piece of furniture. We mounted antique tools that belonged to Delores’ father on the walls, to add a touch of rustic décor, with lots of sentimental value. Plus, with the addition of a moveable wall, the whole thing now opens up to the outdoors that Delores loves so much, while giving her easier access to her tools.
Building a Deck and Ramp
The first step was removing the small landing outside the door so we could build a bigger, better porch and ramp for the shed. By adding a more substantial porch, we immediately made it seem more like a destination rather than an afterthought. Watch How to Build a Wood Deck on Your Home for step-by-step instructions.
Next, we added a ramp to improve access to the inside. One thing to keep in mind when building any kind of ramp is the slope. The maximum slope should be one inch of rise for 12 inches of travel, but the ideal is one inch of rise per 16 inches of travel. Watch What to Consider When Building a Storage Shed in Your Yard for other things to consider in your project.
Repurposing Furniture as a Potting Bench
Recycling an old piece of furniture is a great way to create a potting bench because it is often less expensive and requires less work than starting from scratch. Chelsea found this old entertainment center for $40 in a thrift store. Since it already had plenty of work surface and storage space, it could easily be converted to a potting bench for Delores.
To make planting in larger pots easier, we cut out the center portion of the top so we could lower it. We also added screw-in furniture feet to raise the unit off the floor. Finally, we painted the whole piece to hide our alterations and seal the surface of the furniture. Delores can use the roll-out trays for storage while the two levels of countertop can be used for potting plants.
Watch Repurposing Furniture as a Potting Bench for details on this project.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Repairing Damaged Porch Railing
Here’s a simple way to repair a damaged wood porch rail using a couple of plywood forms, clamps, and some auto body filler. Watch the video.
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Milwaukee Shockwave Bit Kit
The Milwaukee Shockwave Bit Set features a shock zone on each tip to provide up to 30 times longer life and absorb three times more torque versus other impact bits. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch the video.
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